WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - West Lafayette residents will pay almost double for their trash removal every month.
It was one of several changes to city code regarding waste passed Monday by City Council in front of a full crowd.
As of July 1, 2013, the monthly fee will increase to $16 from $9. But that's just one of the changes taking effect in two months.
Also, residents will no longer be able put grass clippings in their trash. While there are no time limits for having yard waste at the curb, trash and recycling is now only allowed out from 5 p.m. the night before pickup to 11 p.m. the night after. Residents can still use higher quality trash bags that don't rip, but with Monday's vote, all containers must have a tight fitting lid.
The approval comes three years after the mayor vetoed a plan where residents would have paid for the amount of trash they threw away.
"It takes a lot of courage to get back and go into battle again. But I got very few complaints from residents because they seemed to think it was reasonable," says Councilwoman Ann Hunt (D).
The vote was 4-2, with council members Peter Bunder and Vicki Burch voting no. Gerry Keen was absent.
"I would have liked to see more emphasis on recycling. I think the trash ordinance is simply a way of raising funds for the city. I don't mind doing that but I really would like to see people pay for what they throw away, instead of just a regressive flat increase in the tax," says Bunder (D).
The Council also passed Monday the first reading of an ordinance requiring all motor vehicles to only pass bicycles when there is a safe passing distance, which is a minimum of three feet between the car and bike. Several bikers like Pat Boling with the Wabash River Cycle Club spoke up saying keeping the three feet in the law makes it more enforceable. It now heads to May's Traffic Commission meeting.
"If the law is passed, it will help a lot. I think it will. Partly it's about raising our consciousness," says Boling.
The City Council also approved the New Chauncey Neighborhood plan after four years of work. The future land use map had lots of controversy earlier this year before a compromise was worked out between residents and business owners.
Council members also approved plans for a 3-story, 28-bedroom apartment building at the corner of Fowler and Chauncey Streets as well as the Capital Projects Fund Plan for the West Lafayette Public Library.
In accordance with a presidential proclamation regarding the passing of Nelson Mandela, Gov. Mike Pence is directing that flags be flown at half-staff beginning immediately for Hoosiers state-wide.
Inventions were built by Purdue mechanical engineering students for a final class project.
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly has traveled around the state throughout the week talking with workers at automotive plants.